Vegan Stuffing with Cranberries and Apples in Roasted Acorn Squash Bowls

by Steph Sunshine at StephSunshine.com

Yield10 servings

Prep Time45 minutes

Cook Time45 minutes

Total Time90 minutes

Ingredients

Acorn Squash

  • 5 tbsp. vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
  • 5 acorn squashes
  • salt
  • black pepper

Stuffing

  • 24 oz. loaf of white sandwich bread (such as Dave's Killer Bread)
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. water
  • 3/4 cup vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
  • 2 cup onion, chopped (about 1 medium onion)
  • 2 1/2 cup celery, chopped (about 4-5 stalks)
  • 1 sweet apple (such as Fuji or Gala), peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried, sweetened cranberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp. vegetable seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

Instructions

  1. Leave your loaf of bread out to dry overnight. I like to use a large mixing bowl to spread out the pieces, and rotate them every so often so they dry evenly. Once the bread is dry, cut it into approximately 1-inch cubes. Place the bread cubes in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Grease a 9x13 or 10x15 baking pan or casserole dish.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Cut each acorn squash in half, from tip to stem. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy pieces inside.
  6. Rub 1/2 tbsp. of vegan butter on the inside of each half of squash, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  7. Place the squash halves face up on the baking tray, and bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender and golden brown on its cut side.
  8. While your squash is roasting, begin chopping vegetables and preparing the stuffing. Once the squash is out of the oven, reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. In a small bowl or cup, mix ground flax with water, and set aside to thicken.
  10. In a large pan over medium heat, melt the vegan butter. Add the chopped onion and cook for 3-5 minutes. (Cook longer for softer vegetables, less time for crunchier vegetables).
  11. Add chopped celery to the pan and continue cooking for an additional 4-6 minutes. Remove from heat.
  12. Add the celery and onion to the bread cubes, along with the butter from the pan. Add in the flax mix and all the remaining ingredients except the vegetable broth and mix well. Then add the vegetable broth a little at a time, mixing continually, until the bread is moist but not soggy. Mix everything together using your hands until well combined.
  13. Spread the stuffing in the greased casserole pan, then cover the pan with foil. Bake for about 35 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes.
  14. Allow the stuffing to cool slightly, then fill each squash half with a generous serving of stuffing.

Notes & Hints

You could use many types of bread, but white sandwich bread is usually the most-liked bread for stuffing. I used Dave's Killer White Bread for this recipe.

Some people recommend cutting the bread into cubes before leaving it to dry out, however I found that the bread is much easier to cut once it's already dry.

If you're in a bind and you don't have time to leave your bread overnight to dry, you can spread the bread out in a baking tray and bake it at 350 degrees for 5 minutes (until just dried, but not toasted).

Leftovers: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The stuffing can be frozen for longer storage.

Reheat: Heat in the oven at 350 degrees. The squash will take about 15-17 minutes to heat all the way through, but if you're just heating the stuffing, it should heat up in about 12 minutes. Add some broth to the stuffing to keep it from drying out.

StephSunshine